NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office has a special investigator, K9 Rowan who has partnered with Special Agent Kyle Rentfrow after completing the State Farm Arson Dog program.
This new team will investigate fires throughout the Effingham and Southern Illinois region. The K9 is a 2-year-old male yellow Labrador retriever mix. He will be serving the State of Illinois, finding evidence of the existence of accelerants at fire scenes.
“We feel law enforcement officials should have every tool possible to combat this costly — and sometimes deadly — crime,” said Heather Paul, National Arson Dog Program Coordinator for State Farm. “These K-9s enable investigators to do their job more efficiently and effectively. The scope of arson goes beyond impacting insurance companies – it affects the personal and financial well-being of us all. Training dogs to detect accelerants at fire scenes saves time and money in arson investigations.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 280,000 intentional fires are reported to U.S. fire departments each year. Arson dogs played a crucial role in determining the cause of many of these fires.
In addition, arson awareness week, May 7-13 is coming to an end this week. For more information about the Arson Dog Program visit www.arsondog.org.